Pocket Door Repair

How to fix sticky, noisy or just plain broken pocket doors

Do you have a pocket door that sticks or doesn't open or shut all the way? Don't replace it if you don't have to—just install a new track, new rollers or both, and your pocket door will work like it did when it was new.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Overview

You don't need to be a coal miner to venture into the deep, dark pocket of a sliding door, but it helps. Once you're equipped with a new track, rollers and a good flashlight, we'll show you how to get in, replace the broken hardware, and get out before the weekend's over and the search party comes looking.

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Tips for removing doors

Sometimes the hardest part is getting the door out of the pocket or off the track. Pull out a door that's stuck in the pocket by alternately pulling the top and bottom edges. Remove a door from a J-track by following the instructions in Photo 5, but instead of pulling the top toward you, push away to pop the rollers out of the track. Remove a door with roller-skate-type rollers by prying the door up and tapping on the rollers to release them.

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New track and rollers

If you need both a new track and a set of rollers, get them from a builders' supply store, or order them from your local home center.

Before ordering the hardware, weigh your door on a bath scale, and measure the track slot and track. Our door weighed 30 lbs. and the track slot was 1-1/2 in. wide and 2-1/4 in. deep. The Stanley No. 82 aluminum J-track fit the narrow width of our track slot. To reduce the track slot depth to the recommended 1-1/2 in., we installed plywood spacers. The Stanley No. 85 twin wheel rollers, rated for doors up to 75 lbs., were more than enough for our panel door. If you have a solid-core door that gets a lot of use, the roller-skate-type rollers, rated to 125 lbs., are a better choice.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Hammer
  • Miter saw
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Drill/driver, cordless
  • Level
  • Flashlight
  • Hearing protection
  • Drywall saw
  • Putty knife
  • Safety glasses
  • Speed square
  • Utility knife

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • 2x6 scrap
  • Plywood blocks
  • Pocket door rollers
  • Pocket door track